On the day the judiciary put an end to the dilatory tactics of the executive in the Ayodhya title dispute , by ruling that the Allahabad High Court can go ahead and pronounce its judgment, Mukul Kesavan writes in The Telegraph, Calcutta, that the Babri masjid issue has travelled in the direction of the Hindutva-vadis since Independence.
And the smuggling in of the Ram idol into the masjid in 1949, the opening of the gates by the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1985, the demolition of the mosque in the presence of the presiding deities of the BJP, A.B. Vajpayee and L.K. Advani in 1992, the acquisition of the land by the Centre in 1993, all have had the shameless complicity of the State:
“In the context of the demolition, not only is an existing mosque first encroached upon, then razed, not only does Hindu worship continue on the site, but one of the consequences of this vandalism is also an apex court judgment that suggests that mosques, all mosques, are no longer protected by Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution because they aren’t part of the basic furniture of Islam.
“It’s worth noting that this was a majority judgment from a five-judge bench; in the words of Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn, a constitutional scholar: ‘[T]he two dissenting judges, both of whom were Muslims, had an understanding of the obligations of Islamic practice that differed sharply from their three Hindu colleagues in the majority.’
“”So, instead of a majoritarian campaign of violence and destruction (which led to the mosque being razed and thousands of Muslims being attacked and killed in the wake of the demolition) being punished, Muslims found themselves a) minus one mosque, b) the victims of vicious, orchestrated violence and c) at the receiving end of a judgment that made their places of worship an optional extra, not sacred places protected by their constitutional right to religious practice.”
Read the full article: Closure in Ayodhya
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